Thursday, November 11, 2010

Poetry challenges

In the last couple of years I've entered two April poem-a-day challenges and one last November run by Robert Lee Brewer who writes the poetry column for Writer's Digest. This year I opted out of the November challenge because of my book deadline, but I promised Robert I'd be back in April.

However, I haven't stopped writing poems for my self-imposed poem-a-week challenge that I started at the beginning of 2010. My challenge was to write a poem weekly about my thoughts and imaginings about people I don't know. Remember trying to figure out or making up the lives of people sitting at tables near yours when you're out in a restaurant? Well, my challenge is something like that.

And in keeping with my belief that there is a poem everywhere, I've found subjects for this challenge at my gym, on the plane, in doctors' waiting rooms, in countries where I've traveled, on the cruise ship we were on last Spring, and of course at tables near mine in restaurants.

Now of course I don't consider these poems works of art -- at least not yet. But perhaps there's a book there someday. I could call it Fifty-two Poems. How easy is that?

Here's one from last April's poem-a-day challenge (with prompt).

Prompt 12 – pick a city, make that the title of your poem, and write a poem.

Growing up in Chicago
I never knew any hog butchers
or steel makers as Sandburg
liked to tout in his poem.
But I do remember the Lake
and the Art Institute
and the Museum of Science and Industry
and seeing plays at the Goodman Theater.
I’m going back for a few days this spring.
I’ll be sure to look for the hogs.

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